Justin Bieber worked around the clock on his new album, Justice, and was pretty excited for his fans to listen to it. The album was released a few days back on March 18 and while he expected his fans to love his bold creative choices that he made, a section of his followers were perplexed to hear the late civil rights icon, Martin Luther King Jr., featuring so heavily in the tracks included in Beiber’s album. 

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Justice is said to open with Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous quotes, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” from his April 1963 “Letter From Birmingham Jail.”  Another track from the album contains an “MLK Interlude”, which includes a 1-minute and 44-second clip of King’s “But If Not” speech. “I say to you, this morning, that if you have never found something so dear and precious to you that you will die for it, then you aren’t fit to live,” King Jr. said when he delivered this sermon at Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church in November of 1967. 

Bieber’s fans were angry that while the singer chose to quote the late civil rights leader directly, he did not even give him any credit for it. Many wondered if using King Jr’s quotes was even fitting the context of his songs. People took to Twitter to slam the singer where one user said, “Why did Justin Bieber, a white man, use Martin Luther King Jr. on his album titled Justice, which is about his wife, who is a white woman?”

Another user questioned, “Justin Bieber’s album starts off with a Martin Luther King clip on a song about missing his wife. I feel like I’m going insane.” While many called out Beiber for using MLK’s quotes, a section also thanked him for honouring the late civil rights icon as well. 

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Addressing the issue, Beiber told Vogue that he used King’s quotes to amplify his voice to this generation. He also added that he wanted to make this album because he thought “it’s very timely and very necessary.”